Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Mistletoebird

The Mistletoebird, Dicaeum hirundinaceum,  would have to be among the most smartly dressed of all birds. Unfortunately we don't see them here in Tasmania but I was lucky enough to get a photo of one while visiting  Adelaide last October. To be precise the photo was taken at the Aldinga Scrub Reserve 45 km south of Adelaide.

Why is it called the Mistletoebird?

Quote from Wikipedia:
The mistletoebird eats a variety of different foods. It commonly eats the berries of mistletoes (hence the name) and other plants. The diet also includes nectar, pollen, spiders, and insects.

The species consumes the fruit of Amyema quandang (grey mistletoe) and other mistletoe species. By eating the fruit of the parasitic mistletoe, this bird is able to spread the seeds. When the birds eat the berries, the seeds pass through them, which takes anywhere from 4–25 minutes. Then when the birds excrete the seeds, they are sticky and easily adhere to the branch or trunk of a tree where they soon sprout.


  1. A beautiful bird to see and photograph and thanks for the added information. Didn't know the seeds passed through their tract as quickly as they do.

  2. That is an amazing looking bird. So lucky to see one and photograph it.

  3. Fascinating bird! And very beautiful! I was amazed to learn that the Phainopepla here in AZ also eats mistletoe berries.

  4. Great photo of a very beautiful bird. I have frequently seen these birds but still have to get a really good photo.

  5. PLEASE! How am I supposed to tell you how magical that video of the platypus is when your blog won't let me comment again!?! Apart from that it's perfect - even down to the reflections in the water.

  6. Thank you for your comment Margaret, Adam, Lea, Marie, and Mick.

    Mick. The platypus was awesome to watch. My apologies regarding the comments problem. . I've fixed it again. Blogger settings keep disabling commenting even though I have the default setting to allow comments. It's driving me nuts